A significant event is occurring at 5:30 p.m. today when the Benton Advertising and Promotion Commission and the city of Benton host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Benton Event Center.
In November 2011, the residents of Benton approved a bond issue to finance construction of the center. Construction took 15 months.
The public is encouraged to attend today's ceremony.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the building was held on July 3, 2012. The first event to be held in the facility is a gun and knife show set for Oct. 5 and 6.
Guest speaker for today' event will be former U.S. Sen. David Pryor, who will focus on the economic impact the center will have on the community.
"We are very fortunate to have former Sen. Pryor with us to help dedicate our new event center," said Mayor David Mattingly.
Following a brief program, including the official opening of the building, residents are invited to tour the facility and enjoy light refreshments.
The Benton Event Center contains 29,000 square feet of space and can be organized into several different configurations to accommodate corporate meetings, seminars, trade shows, private events, weddings and receptions as well as for other purposes. The venue can seat up to 750 people at tables in a banquet configuration and up to 1,100 people in a concert or lecture format.
The center is owned by the city of Benton.
The architect for the center was Les Owens of Black Corley Owens & Hughes. Construction was managed by CDI Contractors LLC of Little Rock.